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Press Releases

October 11, 2018
With Firewood, Buy It Where You’ll Burn It
Contact: Michael Wallace, 804.786.1904

When collecting firewood for the cold months ahead, always buy firewood close to where you will burn it. Tree-killing invasive insects and diseases can lurk both inside, and on the surface, of firewood. While these insects and diseases don’t travel far on their own, transporting firewood allows them to move hundreds of miles and start infestations in new places.

Anyone traveling from one location to another, such as campers, anglers, hunters and RV owners, should not carry firewood to their destination unless it is heat-treated and certified. Carrying firewood from one area to another can spread forest pests and may also violate state and federal laws, depending on the region. Plan to gather firewood on site if permitted or purchase firewood near your camping destination.

As October is Firewood Awareness Month, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) wants you to know that tree pest infestations can impact and kill trees within our communities, parks and forests. Infestations can be costly to control or eradicate, so help stop the spread of damaging forest pests by following these suggestions:

  1. Buy firewood near where you’ll burn it
  2. Gather firewood on site when permitted
  3. When available, buy certified heat treated firewood (look for a state or federal seal)
People who use wood to heat their homes should harvest firewood locally or purchase firewood from a reputable dealer who complies with state or regional firewood regulations. Out of compliance firewood providers may be unaware of quarantine and movement restrictions, resulting in the unintentional and illegal movement of tree-killing pests.

If you suspect that you have an invasive pest in your area, contact VDACS’ Office of Plant Industry Services at 804.786.3515, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at 804.226.5262 or your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Service agent at ext.vt.edu/offices.html.

More information on invasive plants, pests and diseases can be found on USDA’s Hungry Pests website at hungrypests.com.


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